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Street trading

Coronavirus update

Normal service for street trading licences are restricted as Cecil Ward Building is closed for customers and staff and we are working remotely from home. Below is some information for licensees on how COVID-19 is affecting street trading licences.

You can also find other information using these links:

If you're selling or offering a service in a street or public place, you must have a licence.

For licensees - how COVID-19 affects your street trading application

My licence expires during the current ‘lockdown’ but I have already made my renewal application – what will happen? 

If we have already received a renewal application from you, your licence will remain in force even though the renewal date has passed. We will inspect your pitch as soon as we are able and make a renewal decision at that date. 

My licence will expire during the current lockdown and I haven’t yet made my renewal application – what should I do? 

You must still submit an application to renew your licence even if you are unsure as to whether you intend to operate in the future so as to allow you to resume the licensable activity once the government restrictions are lifted. If your licence has already expired, or you are unable to pay the application fee to accompany your renewal application, please contact us urgently to discuss how we can help. You can contact us by email buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk

How do I apply to renew a street trading licence during the current restrictions? 

If your licence expired by the 30 April 2020 you should already have received a renewal reminder application pack. We may also contact you by email (if we have your email address) or phone to confirm if you want to renew your licence.

Anyone who has not received a pack, or who needs one now for a later renewal can contact us on buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk

Currently to apply to renew your street trading licence you can:

  • Apply for a street trading licence
  • Scan a copy of your completed application form, and return it by email to buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk and pay the relevant fee by bank transfer (BACS), contact us for payment details; or 
  •  If you aren’t able to do either of these, please email us urgently on buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk to confirm that you intend to renew your licence, and to discuss how we can help. You can still post your application form and fee to us if you wish. We have limited access to the office at present but post will be reviewed as and when possible. 

I cannot supply updated certificates – what should I do? 

It is accepted that applicants will not be in a position to commission certificates that would normally be submitted with a street trading application. These should be provided as soon as possible once restrictions are lifted. 

If you do have valid certificates (or other relevant documentation) you can submit these by email to buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk.

Can I have a rebate on my renewal and licence fee given I have been forced to close? 

You must pay the renewal application fee with your application. However, in order to help you with the overall licence cost, the renewal date will be when we make a decision about your application, rather than the expiry date of your old licence. Your new licence will last for 3 years from when we approve your application (once all technical and legislative requirements are met). The licence fee will only need to be paid then from the renewal date.

We are unable to offer any refund or rebate on existing licences. The licence fee covers the cost of enforcement, the designation process and ongoing general administration of street trading and is set by Council at a level which currently does not enable full cost recovery of this function.

Types of licence

There are three types of street trading licence:

For more information about Mobile trading in our Parks visit our parks section.

You don't need a licence to sell newspapers or magazines from a holder carried by the sell. Milk men, bread men, coal men and delivery men are also exempt.

Buskers don't need a licence, but if they want to sell items like CDs they must apply for a licence.

Stationary licence to trade from a designated permanent pitch

We only grant licences for areas which we've approved for stationary street trading.

If we want to designate new trading areas we will publish legal notices (for 28 days), explaining our proposals, in local newspapers to make sure the public and other organisations are consulted. 

Mobile trading licence

All mobile traders, including ice-cream vans and mobile shops, must have a mobile trading licence which allows them to work within specific areas of Belfast. 

If you're applying for a mobile trading licence you must tell us the route that you propose to trade from in your application form. You must also give details of the days and times you intend to trade.

Temporary licence for events

Even if you only want to sell at a one-off event, you'll need a temporary licence.

Apply well in advance of your event, as we assess all applications separately and liaise with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Department for Instructure Roads to decide if your proposal will cause any inconvenience to the public.

Temporary licences for events are only valid for up to seven days. We can only grant traders five temporary licences in one year.

If you're applying for a temporary licence, you'll need a map showing the exact location of your planned site. This should be included with your application form. 

What documents are needed to apply?

  • Basic Disclosure certificate obtained from AccessNI (non NI residents can get details of how to obtain a similar certificate by contacting us)
  • Electrical test certificates for all portable electrical appliances used and any generators.
  • Gas Safety certificates for all gas appliances, connections, and flues used.
  • Certificate of maintenance of any fire extinguishers used, especially where gas or electrical equipment is being used.
  • Relevant MOT test certificate for any vehicle used in the trading activity.
  • Evidence that you have registered, or applied for registration with the relevant local authority for food hygiene and health and safety (if required).

Fees

Licensing fees should only be paid once we have decided to grant or renew your mobile or stationary street trading licence. 

How to pay

You can pay monthly in person at our offices, located on Ground Floor, Cecil Ward Building, 4-10 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BP, or via cheque or postal order.

The first monthly payment must be made before your licence is issued. All cheques and postal orders should be payable to Belfast City Council.

Fees for mobile and stationary street trading licences

Types  Application fee and renewal (non-refundable) Nature of licence
Licence fee per year   Licence fee per month
Mobile  £180 Monday to Fridays £550 £45.83 
Saturday £300 £25
Sunday £380 £31.66
Monday to Saturday £800 £66.66
Monday to Sunday £1100 £91.66
Stationary  £150 Monday to Friday £800 £66.66
Saturday £520 £43.33
Sunday                         
£580 £48.33
Monday to Saturday £1000 £83.33
Monday to Sunday 
£1250 £104.16

 

Fees for temporary street trading licences

Type  Application fee (non-refundable)  Nature of licence  Licence fee per day 
Temporary  £180 Monday to Friday £40
Saturday £50
Sunday or public holiday £70 

Fee for variations of a street trading licence

Types   Fee
Variation of licencing particulars   £100

Locations for street trading

Location of areas approved for stationary street trading

Stationary licence holders can only trade on designated sites. Licence applications will be considered for the bold streets only. All sites are for daytime trading unless otherwise specified.

Check your planned location is available

This table shows the number and location of all designated pitches in Belfast. It also outlines the items which can be sold on each pitch and whether the pitch is currently available. If you are interested in applying for a stationary licence, you should check this information first to make sure your planned location is a designated pitch, and is available.

 Pitch number Location  Products   Status 
Licence number
 1  Donegall Square East at “Santander”  Hot Food (Night time trading)  Issued
S00002
 2  Castle Lane - behind mosaic at junction with “Castle Arcade” No 1  Flowers, fruit and vegetables  Available
 3  Castle Lane - behind mosaic at junction with “Castle Arcade” No 2  Flowers, plants, arts and crafts  Available
 4  Malone Road at Malone Park  Flowers on a Sunday  Available
 5  Boucher Crescent - at lamp post No 16  Hot Food  Pending
 6  Apollo Road  Hot Food  Pending
 7  Tomb Street – (one site)  Hot Food (Night time trading)  Issued
S00008
 8  Donegall Street in lay-by opposite “Kremlin Night Club”  Hot Food (Night time trading)  Issued
201900071
 9  Fountain Lane - 45ft. from junction with Donegall Place. (1)  Commodity to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Pending
 10  Fountain Lane - 60ft. from junction with Donegall Place. (2)  Commodity to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Available
 11  Sliabh Dubh View  Commodities to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Available
 12  Dargan Crescent, 45 feet from its junction with Dargan Road  Hot Food  Available
 13  Donegall Square North - Front of City Hall  Ice cream, hot and cold beverages, confectionery, crepes, wraps and other artisan foods from a traditional tricycle  Issued
S000065
 14  Dargan Crescent - at “Musgrave cash & carry”  Hot Food  Issued
202000000
 15  Falcon Road  Hot Food  Available
 16  Duncrue Link - 45ft. from junction with Duncrue Road  Hot Food  Issued
S00024
 17  Duncrue Crescent - 45ft. from junction with Duncrue Road  Hot Food  Issued
S00025
 18  Belmont Road  Sunday Newspapers  Available
 19  Malone Road at Malone Park  Sunday Newspapers  Available
 20  144 Upper Lisburn Road  Sunday Newspapers  Available
 21  Upper Lisburn Road at Sicily Park  Sunday Newspapers  Available
 22  Post Box at Finaghy Road South  Sunday Newspapers  Available
 23  Antrim Road, 50m from Kansas Avenue Junction– (one site)  Sunday Newspapers  Available
 24  177 Lisburn Road  Sunday Newspapers  Available
 25  Lucerne Parade at Lockview Road  Sunday Newspapers  Available
 26  Blackstaff Road at Delta Print and Packaging – (one site)  Hot Food  Pending
 27  Malone Road at Derryvolgie Avenue  Sunday Newspapers  Available
 28  Lower Garfield Street - at junction with North Street (1)  Commodity to be determined but including the sale of crepes, waffles, roasted nuts, sandwiches, paninis and hot pastries  Site currently unavailable due to building works
 29  Lower Garfield Street - 36 ft. from junction with Royal Avenue (2)  Commodity to be determined but excluding food and beverage products of any nature  Available
 30  Lombard Street - in line with and positioned in front of public toilets (1)  Commodity to be determined but excluding food and beverage products of any nature)  Issued
S00040
 31  Lombard Street - at junction with Rosemary Street beside flower planter (2)  Commodity to be determined but excluding food and beverage products of any nature  Available
 32  Castle Place opposite “Donegall Arcade”  Commodity to be determined including the sale of bus tour tickets but excluding the sale of hot food  Issued
S00097
 33  Berry Street starting at 32 ft. from the junction with Royal Avenue running along the wall at the Telecom Unit  Commodity to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Available
 34  Berry Street starting at 46 ft. from the junction with Royal Avenue running along the wall at the Telecom Unit  Commodity to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Available
 35  Cornmarket outside “BHS”  Commodity to be determined but excluding food and beverage products of any nature  Pending
 36  The car park at Shaws Bridge – (one site)  Ice-cream and confectionery  Issued
S00120
 37  Little Patrick Street - 45 Feet from the Junction with Corporation Street  The sale of commodities including tea, coffee, sandwiches and other hot foods  Unavailable
 38  Winetavern Street - One Site at the Rear of Smithfield Market  Fruit and vegetables  Available
 39  Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 1) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Issued
S00113
 40  Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 2) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Issued
S00098
 41 Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 3) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Issued
S00110
 42  Fountain Street, 20 ft. from the junction with Wellington Place  Sale of commodities and/or services to be determined  Issued
2020000008
 43  Cotton Court (Waring Street) One pitch
see note 2
 Sale of Arts and Crafts on a Sunday  Available
 44  Hill Street
 - See note 1
 Sale of Arts and Crafts on a Sunday  Unavailable
 45  Commercial Court
 - See note 2
 Sale of Arts and Crafts on a Sunday  Available
 46  Falls Park, Falls Road  Flowers  Available
 47  Castle Junction (Kiosk) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Hot and cold non alcoholic beverages, confectionery, ice cream, cold food and theatre, event and bus tour tickets  Available
 48  Antrim Road outside 179-181 Antrim Road  Commodities to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Issued
S00081
 49  Springfield Road at junction with Springfield Avenue  Commodities to be determined but excluding the sale of hot food  Issued
S00082
 50  Blackstaff Square, south-west corner - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Tea, coffee and sandwiches or similar commodities  Unavailable
 51  Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 4) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Issued
S00121
 52  Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 5) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Unavailable
 53  Donegall Quay - Area Beside the Lagan Lookout Building for six Pitches (No 6) - Applicants must seek permission from the Department for Communities  Sale of commodities including hot and cold food and beverages confectionery, tourist gifts and other services  Unavailable
 54 Balmoral Road outside former B&Q  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar products  Issued
S00117
 55  Oldpark Road, in lay-by 45ft from junction with Hillview Road  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar products  Available
 56  Cupar Way  Tourist souvenirs or similar commodities  Pending
 57  The Arc, Titanic Quarter (No 1) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 58  The Arc, Titanic Quarter (No 2) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 59  The Arc, Titanic Quarter (No 3) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 60  The Arc, Titanic Quarter (No 4) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 61  The Arc, Titanic Quarter (No 5) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 62  Hamilton Dock, Titanic Quarter (No 1) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 63  Hamilton Dock, Titanic Quarter (No 2) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 64  Hamilton Dock, Titanic Quarter (No 3) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 65  Hamilton Dock, Titanic Quarter (No 4) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 66  Titanic Plaza, Titanic Quarter (No 1) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 67  Titanic Plaza, Titanic Quarter (No 2) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
 68  Titanic Plaza, Titanic Quarter (No 3) - Applicants must seek permission from Titanic Foundation  Hot and cold food and beverages or similar commodities, gifts and souvenirs  Available
Note 1 Site 44 - Hill Street - licence applications cannot be considered at this time as there is inadequate space for stalls.
Note 2 Sites 43 - Cotton Court and Site 45 - Commercial Court, which are situated in the Cathedral Quarter, are one of the oldest and most distinctive areas of Belfast. Designated a Conservation Area in 1990, in recent years the Quarter has taken on a pivotal role as the cultural heart of Belfast and is now home to over 50 arts organisations. As such, the Council has set strict commodity guidelines regarding the commodities that may be sold. These guidelines are detailed below. a) Products should be original, locally produced, of high quality and hand-made by professional, indigenous artists and designers. b) Arts – such as fine art, print, photography c) Crafts – such as jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, pottery, clothing and books.

Timescales

Tacit consent does not apply.

It is in the public interest that Belfast City Council must process your application before it can be granted. The Police, Department for Instructure Roads, local residents and local shops and other street traders have a legitimate interest in the outcome of street trading applications.

Tacit consent does not apply to minimise the risk of a licence being granted inadvertently and subsequently resulting in public disorder, removal of protection to the public and a cumulative adverse environmental impact on the vicinity of the trader. If you have not heard from the council within a reasonable period, please contact us.

Whilst Tacit Consent does not apply, we will strive to notify all applicants of the outcome of their application, including issuing the licence, within 10 working days of the council decision made in relation to the application.

The council must give written notice of its decision within a reasonable time.

Please allow a minimum of 28 days from the date of receipt for us to process your application for a stationary or mobile street trading licence.

The application for a temporary street trading licence needs to be submitted at least 42 days before the event.

Appeals

You have the right to appeal our decision if:

  • an application is refused
  • a licence is revoked
  • terms, conditions or restrictions are imposed

The council will serve a notice of its intention and appeals must be lodged to the council in writing within 21 days of the date of the notice informing you of the decision.

If the council upholds their decision, appeals can be made to the magistrates court within 21 days of the notice of the final decision.

If an application for a temporary licence is refused the applicant can appeal to the local magistrates court within 21 days of the date of the notice of the decision.

Illegal trading

Under the Street Trading Act, our officers can seize any property, goods, holders, equipment, stalls or vehicles if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that someone is trading illegally.

Illegal traders can be fined up to £1,000 and we can have the seized goods destroyed.

Further information

We have further guidance which you may also find helpful. Please email buildingcontrollicensing@belfastcity.gov.uk or call us on 028 9027 0650 if you want further information on:;

  • Street trading licensing policy
  • Policy for temporary street trading licences
  • Designating streets for street trading
  • Street trading stall design guidelines
  • Changed circumstances affecting street trading
  • Street trading commodities and services

If you have any queries or complaints, or to find out if a licence has been issued, please contact us.